19 Day Ultimate Rail Cruise and Coach

Starting From NZD $12,879
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We Tour NZ > Tours > 19 Day Ultimate Rail Cruise and Coach

This Grand Pacific Ultimate Small Group Tour is specifically tailored to provide a Business Class level of comfort, service and quality without compromise. Travel in style on a full-size, state-of-the-art coach with a maximum of only 20 travellers and enjoy extensive onboard features and VIP extras.  This coach, cruise & rail tour takes you right through New Zealand from the North to the South Islands. Experience the best that the country has on offer, including some wonderful rail and cruise inclusions along the way.

Tour Highlights

  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise
  • Glenbrook Vintage Railway
  • Rainbow Springs Nature Park
  • National Kiwi Hatchery Tour
  • Skyline Rotorua Gondola and Luge Ride
  • Agrodome (only for departures before April 2024)
  • Thermal mud pools and geysers
  • Te Puia traditional Māori Hāngi and Concert
  • Te Papa, NZ’s National Museum
  • Cruise on the Interislander Ferry, (for departures after April 2024 in the Premium Lounge)
  • Coastal Pacific Rail Journey
  • International Antarctic Centre
  • Christchurch Tram
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey
  • Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw
  • HIGHLIGHT Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
  • Larnach Castle
  • Pleasant Point Museum and Railway
  • Professional Coach Captain
  •  3 specialty dinners: Mãori Hãngi and Concert, Rotorua; Walter Peak Homestead, Queenstown; Intimate Farewell Dinner, selected beverages, Christchurch
  • 2 delicious morning teas including an Ultimate High Tea: Larnach Castle

Tour Itinerary

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner (SD) Specialty Dinner

1
Arrive Auckland (D)
Day 1
Arrive Auckland (D)
On arrival into Auckland you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink as you meet your travelling companions.
Crowne Plaza Auckland
Located right in the centre of the bustling Auckland CBD.
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2
Auckland - Bay of Islands (B, D)
Day 2
Auckland - Bay of Islands (B, D)
Board the luxurious Ultimate Coach and enjoy a city tour of Auckland, dubbed the ‘City of Sails’, before travelling to Matakohe to enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum. Travel via Whangarei to Paihia, situated in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Mãori tribes and the British.
Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands
Conveniently situated only a short walk from Paihia's village centre and the wharf.
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3
Bay of Islands Free Day (B)
Day 3
Bay of Islands Free Day (B)
Today is a free day. Choose from the many optional activities available, including the Cape Reinga coach trip via Ninety Mile Beach or a spectacular scenic flight. This evening is also free, you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional).
Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands
Conveniently situated only a short walk from Paihia's village centre and the wharf.
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4
Bay of Islands - Auckland (B)
Day 4
Bay of Islands - Auckland (B)
This morning you will explore the scenic beauty of the Bay of Islands aboard a luxury catamaran. Cruise to Cape Brett and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’, keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. On return to Paihia, travel south, returning to Auckland. This evening is free to dine at your leisure.
Crowne Plaza Auckland
Located right in the centre of the bustling Auckland CBD.
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5
Auckland - Rotorua (B, D)
Day 5
Auckland - Rotorua (B, D)
This morning travel to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15 kilometre trip back in time on a beautifully restored vintage steam train including a delightful morning tea. Depart Glenbrook and travel through magnificent countryside of rolling hills and green pastures famous for dairying. Continue to Rotorua to visit the National Kiwi Hatchery, for a unique behind the scenes tour of the world’s largest kiwi hatchery.
Regent of Rotorua
A modern boutique hotel right in the city centre.
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6
Rotorua (B, SD)
Day 6
Rotorua (B, SD)
Today begins with a gondola ride and breakfast at Skyline Rotorua where spectacular views are on offer. There is also time for a thrilling luge ride! Enjoy some leisure time in the geothermal capital, before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Mãori Hãngi and Concert.
Regent of Rotorua
A modern boutique hotel right in the city centre.
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7
Rotorua - Wellington (B, D)
Day 7
Rotorua - Wellington (B, D)
Travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the spectacular Huka Falls. Continue to Lake Taupo for some free time to enjoy this scenic lakeside town. Travel via the Tongariro National Park and then continue south to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington.
Hotel Intercontinental Wellington
A central Wellington location close to all the city's main sights.
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8
Wellington (B)
Day 8
Wellington (B)
A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your Ultimate Coach for an extensive city tour which showcases the history and culture on show. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also at leisure.
Hotel Intercontinental Wellington
A central Wellington location close to all the city's main sights.
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9
Wellington - Kaikoura - Christchurch (B, D)
Day 9
Wellington - Kaikoura - Christchurch (B, D)
This morning board the Interislander Ferry, cross the Cook Strait and enjoy the scenery as you travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton (for departures after April 2024-experience the comfort and intimate setting of the Premium Lounge. Enjoy breakfast as you cruise to Picton). Join the Coastal Pacific, a truly spectacular rail journey that follows a thin wedge of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Kaikōura Ranges. Meet your Ultimate Coach in the fishing village of Kaikōura for the journey to the garden city of Christchurch.
The George
Set across the road from Hagley Park and a 10 minute walk from the city centre.
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10
Christchurch (B)
Day 10
Christchurch (B)
Today visit the International Antarctic Centre designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. This is followed by an introductory city tour of Christchurch. This afternoon includes a journey on board the Christchurch Tram at your leisure. This evening is free to enjoy one of the many eateries near your hotel.
The George
Set across the road from Hagley Park and a 10 minute walk from the city centre.
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11
Christchurch - Arthur's Pass - Fox Glacier (B, D)
Day 11
Christchurch - Arthur's Pass - Fox Glacier (B, D)
This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Board your Ultimate Coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before continuing via Franz Josef to the township of Fox Glacier where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers.
Distinction Fox Glacier Hotel
Set in Fox Glacier, only a short walk from the village.
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12
Fox Glacier - Queenstown (B)
Day 12
Fox Glacier - Queenstown (B)
See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south along the West Coast. Continue via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty before arriving into Arrowtown to visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue to picturesque Queenstown, a year-round resort situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. This evening is free and you may choose to dine out at one of the many fine restaurants.
Heritage Hotel Queenstown
An elevated setting, overlooking Lake Wakatipu and a short drive from the town centre.
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13
Queenstown Free Day (B, SD)
Day 13
Queenstown Free Day (B, SD)
Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown with many optional activities available. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.
Heritage Hotel Queenstown
An elevated setting, overlooking Lake Wakatipu and a short drive from the town centre.
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14
Queenstown - Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise (B, L, D)
Day 14
Queenstown - Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise (B, L, D)
Today travel via Te Anau to Manapouri. Enjoy a picnic lunch as you cruise across this glacial lake. A short ride over the Wilmot Pass brings you to the boarding point to join the Fiordland Navigator for an amazing overnight experience. As you cruise through the pristine beauty of Doubtful Sound, naturalist guides will provide commentary and point out the resident wildlife. When evening falls enjoy a delicious carvery buffet prepared by the onboard chef.
Fiordland Navigator - Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
Your overnight cruise vessel on the sounds.
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15
Doubtful Sound - Te Anau (B, D)
Day 15
Doubtful Sound - Te Anau (B, D)
Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading back to Deep Cove for the trip to Manapouri. Return to the wharf and meet your Ultimate Coach for the journey to Te Anau where you will enjoy an afternoon at leisure. You may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional). **Accommodation Note: The Distinction Luxmore Hotel if touring before 30 April 2023 or Distinction Hotel Te Anau Hotel & Villas if touring from 01 May 2023 onwards.
Distinction Luxmore Hotel Lake Te Anau
Located in the heart of Te Anau's town shopping centre and just a short stroll from Lake Te Anau.
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Distinction Hotel Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Located on the Te Anau lake front, a short stroll from the Te Anau town centre.
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16
Te Anau - Dunedin (B, D)
Day 16
Te Anau - Dunedin (B, D)
Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin, famous for its stunning Edwardian and Victorian architecture dating back to the gold rush of the 1800’s. Enjoy a city tour of New Zealand’s oldest university city.
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
In the centre of the city, a 1937 building transformed into an elegant hotel.
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17
Dunedin (B, D)
Day 17
Dunedin (B, D)
Travel along the picturesque Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle. On a guided tour you will hear the tragic and scandalous tales which make up the castle’s history. There is time to explore this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea served in the Grand Ballroom. Return to Dunedin for some free time. Optional activities to consider include a wildlife excursion to observe animals in their natural habitat or a guided tour of Olveston Historic Home, containing a wealth of treasures of a bygone era.
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
In the centre of the city, a 1937 building transformed into an elegant hotel.
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18
Dunedin - Christchurch (B, L, SD)
Day 18
Dunedin - Christchurch (B, L, SD)
This morning travel to the city of Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue north to Pleasant Point Museum and Railway for a short rail experience followed by lunch and time to explore the preserved heritage of the South Canterbury railway. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with selected beverages and your new friends.
The George
Set across the road from Hagley Park and a 10 minute walk from the city centre.
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19
Depart Christchurch (B)
Day 19
Depart Christchurch (B)
Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

Inclusions

Attractions Included

  • Kauri Museum
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise
  • Glenbrook Vintage Railway
  • National Kiwi Hatchery Tour*
  • Skyline Rotorua Gondola and Luge Ride
  • Agrodome (only for departures before April 2024)
  • Thermal mud pools and geysers*
  • Te Puia traditional Māori Hāngi and Concert
  • Te Papa, NZ’s National Museum
  • Cruise on the Interislander Ferry, (for departures after April 2024 in the Premium Lounge)
  • Coastal Pacific Rail Journey
  • International Antarctic Centre
  • Christchurch Tram
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey
  • Lakes District Museum
  • Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw
  • HIGHLIGHT Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
  • Larnach Castle*
  • Pleasant Point Rail Experience
  • City sights tour of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin
    *Guided tour.

Coach Features

  • 20 Business Class seats on a full-size coach
  • 2 door access; dedicated seat side storage with tray table; cup holder
  • Restroom; daily onboard Wi-Fi allowance

Experiences Included

  • Professional Coach Captain
  • Personalised Meet and Greet on arrival
  • Return airport transfers in New Zealand
  • 17 nights 4.5 star accommodation
  • Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
  • 6 two night stays
  • Hotel porterage
  • 4 rail journeys
  • 4 cruises
  • All sightseeing and prepaid attractions
  • Extensive Optional Tours Programme
  • Deluxe Documentation Pack

Meals Included

  • 18 cooked breakfasts including a specialty breakfast: Stratosfare Restaurant, Rotorua
  • 13 sumptuous dinners including Complimentary pre-dinner drink at the Welcome Dinner and 3 specialty dinners: Mãori Hãngi and Concert, Rotorua; Walter Peak Homestead, Queenstown; Intimate Farewell Dinner, selected beverages, Christchurch
  • 2 lunches
  • 2 delicious morning teas including an Ultimate High Tea: Larnach Castle
  • Enjoy GPT Wine Time (discounted drinks)
    Dinner on Day 1 not included for anyone arriving later than 8pm.

Visited Locations

  • Auckland
    Auckland, or Tāmaki Makaurau in Maori, is New Zealand’s largest city. It is based around 2 large and picturesque harbours. 'The City of Sails' is known as such because of the many yachts often seen on those harbours.
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  • The Bay of Islands
    The Bay of Islands is a subtropical micro-region in the north of the North Island. It is known for its beauty, stunning beaches, deep sea fishing & importance to New Zealand history. It is paradise for those that love beaches and water activities with a little colonial history thrown in.
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  • Rotorua
    Rotorua is an inland city that is famous for its geothermal activity, Maori culture experiences, 18 lakes, and three major rivers in a beautiful natural environment.
    Read more
  • Wellington
    Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and the location of our parliament. Located at the bottom of the North Island it sits on the Cook Straight, which divides the North and South Islands.  Strong winds through the Cook Strait give it the nickname "Windy Wellington".
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  • Kaikoura
    There are few places on earth like Kaikōura. A small coastal village, with a relaxed beachside vibe, it has some stunning views of both mountains and sea. And it offers to enjoy the bounty of the sea whether eating local kai moana or encountering local sale sea life off the coast.
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  • Christchurch
    Christchurch is an fascinating city to explore. It was once a historic garden city. Since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes it has turned into a fascinating city of regeneration and growth.
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  • Arthur’s Pass
    A small alpine village of Arthur's Pass is located between Canterbury and the West Coast of the South Island. Climbing to more than 900 metres through Arthur's Pass National Park, it is the highest and most spectacular pass across the Southern Alps.
    Read more
  • Fox Glacier
    Tucked into the forested foothills of the Southern Alps is the cosy township of Fox Glacier. Focused around a 13-kilometre-long temperate maritime glacier, 'Fox' is in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island.
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  • Queenstown
    Queenstown is a stunning resort town, renowned for its beauty and wealth of adventure activities, it sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Southern Alps mountains, Queenstown is also a base for exploring the region’s vineyards and historic mining towns.
    Read more
  • Doubtful Sound
    Doubtful Sound is a fjord in Fiordland, in the far south west of New Zealand. More remote than the more famous Milford Sound it offers untouched wilderness. The deepest (421 metres) and second longest (40 kilometres) of the South Island's fiords, it is accessed from Lake Manapouri. 
    Read more
  • Te Anau
    A two hour drive from Queenstown, Te Anau is a Southland town. A pretty lakeside town, it’s known as a gateway to Fiordland National Park.
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  • Dunedin
    Known as the 'Edinburgh of the South', Dunedin is a city that wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The small city boasts some eye-catching architecture and is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.
    Read more

Attractions

  • City sights tour of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin
  • Kauri Museum
    The Kauri Museum is located midway between Auckland and the Bay of Islands in Matakohe. Discover the history and the legacy of New Zealand's ancient kauri forest, and the associated industries.
    Read more
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds
    The Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s most important historic sites. Here, Aotearoa's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed in 1840. Today there is lots to see and do that connects visitors to that history.
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  • Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise
    Board your cruise and take in the stunning views of the Bay of Islands. You'll glide out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett. Here a historic lighthouse keeps watch over Piercy Island/Motukōkako or, as it is popularly known, the “Hole in the Rock”.
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  • Glenbrook Vintage Railway
    The Glenbrook Vintage Railway is a heritage steam railway in Glenbrook, rural South Auckland. The line and its fleet is a true inspiration for any rail or history enthusiast.
    Read more
  • National Kiwi Hatchery Tour
    The National Kiwi Hatchery is set in flourishing native forest and natural springs at Rainbow Springs Nature Park in Rotorua. It is the most successful Kiwi hatchery in the world.
    Read more
  • Skyline Rotorua Gondola & Luge
    Skyline Rotorua is an iconic all-weather attraction in Rotorua. It is one of the most spectacular ways to take in the 180-degree views of Lake Rotorua, the city and surrounding district.
    Read more
  • Agrodome
    The world-renowned Agrodome farm show is a must on any visit to Rotorua.  It is set in 350-acres of lush farmland, only 10 minutes from Rotorua city centre.
    Read more
  • Te Puia Thermal Mud Pools & Geysers
    Discover one of New Zealand’s most magnificent geothermal wonderlands near Rotorua at Te Puia. See dramatic geysers, bubbling mud and beautiful native bush.
    Read more
  • Te Puia Traditional Maori Hangi & Concert
    Experience a fantastic evening cultural experience at Te Puia. Prepare for a feast of storytelling, entertainment and Maori cuisine. Experience an authentic Maori welcome, an in-depth experience of the customs and traditions of Maori.
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  • Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum
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  • Interislander Cook Strait Ferry
    Considered one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world, The Interislander is one of The Great Journeys of New Zealand. It is New Zealand's original Cook Strait ferry, sailing between Wellington and Picton several times a day connecting the North & South Islands' road and rail networks.
    Read more
  • Coastal Pacific Rail Journey
    The Coastal Pacific train takes you along rugged coastlines, across remote beaches, between mountains and sea, on a timeless journey of breathtaking beauty between Picton & Christchurch.
    Read more
  • International Antarctic Centre
    The International Antarctic Centre transports a slice of this astounding continent to Christchurch. A range of immersive experiences allow everyday visitors to see, touch, feel and fall in love with Antarctica.
    Read more
  • Christchurch Tram
    The Christchurch Tram is a unique experience combining history and sightseeing. The beautifully restored heritage trams are one of the city’s best loved attractions.
    Read more
  • Tranzalpine Rail Journey
    Enjoy a very special view of the South Island’s striking natural landscape. Take the Tranz Alpine train between Christchurch and Greymouth. See epic vistas, travel the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traverse the Southern Alps, and see miles of native beech forest.
    Read more
  • Lakes District Museum
    Arrowtown's Lakes District Museum was established in 1948 as a Centennial of Otago project. Appropriately set in the former gold mining town, the museum started life in the billiard rooms of the Ballarat Hotel. It then shifted to the current home, the former Bank of New Zealand building, in 1955.
    Read more
  • Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw
    The TSS Earnslaw offers one of the best ways to see Queenstown’s surrounding landscape. Cruise across Lake Whakatipu aboard the iconic century-old coal-fired steamship taking in the views at a leisurely pace.
    Read more
  • Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
    Get set to enjoy the ultimate Doubtful Sound experience with this overnight cruise in an unspoiled, unmatched and unforgettable place.
    Read more
  • Larnach Castle
    Situated on the picturesque Otago Peninsula, a short distance from Dunedin, Larnach Castle is one of New Zealand’s premier visitor attractions. It took more than 200 workmen three years to build the Castle shell. Then master European craftsmen spent a further 12 years embellishing the interior.
    Read more
  • Pleasant Point Rail Experience
    The Pleasant Point Museum and Railway is a heritage railway located in the small country town of Pleasant Point in southern Canterbury.
    Read more

“Excellent – we got treated like VIP’s everywhere we went. I now have a comprehensive knowledge of New Zealand!”
E. G. (USA)

“We have had a wonderful time. Small group tour with good hotels and a good Coach Captain really worked for us. Thank you!”
T. S. (Western Australia)

“The value and scope of the tour is extraordinary, every attention is given to pax comfort and preference. The single seat configuration was the initial attraction for me. It is spacious and very comfortable, allows for privacy/quiet. I would certainly highly recommend Ultimate. Excellent and comfortable hotels.”
M. M. (Victoria, Australia)

“This has been a fantastic tour enabling me to see the best of New Zealand in a relaxed, comfortable way. My knowledge of New Zealand has been vastly expanded and being in a small group has made it more special. So please I chose this tour; the coach, train rides, cruising – all excellent.”
M.D. (UK)

Available Dates

Dates Price per person
On Request
05 Sep 2024 - 23 Sep 2024 $13,549.00$18,049.00
On Request
28 Nov 2024 - 16 Dec 2024 $13,849.00$18,349.00
On Request
04 Dec 2024 - 22 Dec 2024 Guaranteed Departure
$ 13849.00 - $ 18349.00
$ 12879.00 - $ 17064.00
Available
01 May 2025 - 19 May 2025 Guaranteed Departure
$ 13549.00 - $ 18049.00
$ 12879.00 - $ 17064.00
19 Day Ultimate Rail Cruise and Coach
Days
19
Price from
NZD $12,879 per person share twin
Save up to NZ$885 per person twin share on selected departures!